Florida man stole forklift, pickup, four-wheeler (and more) in ‘impressive crime spree,’ deputies say

Charles Harrington also wanted on outstanding warrants in Marion County

Charles Harrington, 24, on VCSO deputy body camera video. (WKMG 2021)

A Florida man was very busy Tuesday after he went on what the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office calls an “impressive crime spree” that involved at least four stolen vehicles and property damage.

Volusia County deputies said they were called out to the Pierson area Tuesday morning for a report of a crash at U.S. Highway 17 and Palmetto Avenue. Deputies discovered a stolen Ford F-150 truck stuck in the mud up to the tailgate, body camera video shows. No one was inside the truck and deputies said it was stolen from Marion County.

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While investigating the abandoned truck, deputies were flagged down by witnesses who reported two buildings were broken into and another Ford F-150 and a forklift were stolen. The forklift was driven around until it ran out of gas, according to the arrest report. The suspect then stole the Ford F-150 and drove off, crashing it in the woods. Deputies said the catalytic converter had been cut from the truck when it was discovered.

Then, deputies got another tip about a burglary and a stolen car. At that residence, the victims said the suspect took the keys from the garage, and a pair of shoes and stole a car.

Next, deputies got another report of theft but it was a four-wheeler. The owners of the four-wheeler were in the hospital with coronavirus at the time of the theft, according to their daughter, who was watching the property.

Another property owner called deputies and said he could hear the four-wheeler on his property while he was out spraying pesticides. He started following the tracks, according to the arrest report, and did so until he found a man walking who asked if he could drink from the sprinklers. The property owner told him there was “poison in the water lines” and it wasn’t safe to drink, according to the report.

The witness said the man took off running after their conversation. Deputies then encountered Charles Harrington, 24, walking down County Road 3 after a neighbor reported him jumping a fence and lurking in the woods.

These thefts all happened within 18 hours, according to the arrest report.

“To be clear, this is a very rural area and foot traffic in these areas is unheard of,” the arresting deputy wrote in the report.

The sheriff’s office released body camera video of Harrington’s arrest and one of the Ford trucks sunken down in the mud.

When Harrington was stopped by a Volusia County deputy, the man said he had been “swimming” with his “old lady.” In the body camera video, Harrington said he knocked on someone’s door asking for “some water but other than that I didn’t do nothing.”

The deputy told Harrington the sheriff’s office had been getting “several calls about you.”

The keys to one of the stolen F-150s were found in his pocket, as well as a lanyard associated with another theft, according to the report. Later, the stolen catalytic converter from the truck was found on the abandoned four-wheeler.

A deputy placed him into handcuffs and discovered there was an open warrant for Harrington out of Marion County.

Harrington is charged with three counts of unarmed burglary and three counts of grand theft less than $100,000.